Landing IT consulting jobs isn’t as easy as handing out your business card. If you really want your technology business to grow, you have to work on impressing potential clients and making them see the value in hiring you.
The experts recommend using a four-pronged approach: create a story, focus on results, be confident, and highlight your credentials.
Tip #1: Win Over Clients by Creating a Story
“IT professionals need to be ready to create a story with their potential client,” says
Teri Goudie (@TeriGoudie),
owner of communications agency
Goudie Media Services.
“You want to engage the potential client and create an experience to remember.”
That means you need to figure out:
- What are the client’s needs?
- Why are they doing what they’re doing?
- How are you going to help them overcome their obstacles and succeed?
Make the client the central character of this story, but make it clear that you’re the one who can help them reach their goals.
Bring it home: “Make sure that you define the unmet need of the client in a way that they have never thought about it before,” says Goudie. “Use words that link your personal brand to the words they use in their world. Start to use their language so they already see you in their IT world.”
Tip #2: Show Potential Clients Your IT Consultancy's Results
You live and breathe IT, but many of your clients probably don’t. That’s why they’re (hopefully) hiring you. So don’t get bogged down in technical details or methodologies while you give your pitch. The most important thing for your clients is what they’re getting out of the deal.
Bring it home: “When talking about what you have done, focus on results," says Goudie. "Results sell.”
Will their sales increase? Will their work become more efficient? Will their technical headaches go away? When explaining your work, articulate how it helps the client get what they want.
Tip #3: Win Prospects Over with Your Confidence
When wooing clients, Goudie reminds us that “75 percent of your effectiveness starts in the first 15 seconds,” and a lot of it comes down to how you’re perceived.
We all have self-doubts and worries, but if these come across in your first meeting with the client, they won’t want to hire you. To make the best possible first impression, be sure to speak with confidence and hone your body language.
Bring it home: In an Inc. article on client meetings, the author states that “power postures” – chest lifted and head held high – can help lower cortisol and increase testosterone, giving you a feeling of confidence. Try it before your next big pitch. Or, if you feel too silly doing that, practice other confidence-inspiring body language and verbal tones.
“Sit on the edge of your seat and lean in when you speak,” says Goudie. “Gesture with your hands and avoid ‘up speak’ in your voice."
Tip #4: Land More Clients by Highlighting Your Tech Credentials
Goudie notes, “Credibility comes not from how many years you have been in IT, but rather from the lessons you have learned and the people you network with.”
In other words, focus on:
- The insights you've gained from your experience.
- Who you know and who taught you important lessons.
These kinds of things can tell a potential client a lot more about your capabilities than a simple list of past IT consulting jobs.
Bring it home: Show you’re insured. Backing up your abilities with technology business insurance proves you’re serious about your work and can offer the client a way to recoup their losses if something goes wrong.
Carrying technology Errors and Omissions Insurance may be the difference between getting a job or not if the client wants to minimize their own financial risk. For many consulting jobs, Errors and Omissions Insurance is even a requirement.
For more advice on getting clients, read “3 Professional Development Tips that Can Land Your Tech Business More Clients.”